Ready, Set, Go! Twitter Marketing Basics for Beginners
Whether you’re an experienced marketer or were thrown into your company’s social media marketing — new platforms for reaching prospects and engaging your customers are emerging every day. From Snapchat, a newer option, to Pinterest, a niche virtual-bulletin board, marketers are learning new ways to connect with their followers.
Older standbys, though, are some of the best ways companies can expand their audience and find a wider reach. Twitter, especially, has proven to be a top social networking site for many companies. More than 65 percent of companies are using Twitter in their marketing plan implementation; only 60 percent were using the platform in 2013, and in 2017, the number is expected to exceed 67 percent.
Top 5 Reasons You Need a Twitter Account
Maybe you’ve asked yourself, “Why Twitter?” It’s time to start asking, “Why not Twitter?” This live micro-blogging platform allows users to share their opinions and facts in real-time. Followers subscribe to receive the 140-character updates, called tweets, which they can then share, or re-tweet.
Since 2001, Twitter has become a popular platform, with more than 100 million active daily visitors, more than 120 million active monthly users, and more than 1.3 billion registered users. On average, company CEOs have about 3,900 followers; individuals and companies who tweet relevant content typically see a higher engagement rate. They understand the power in this platform to reach and grow their target audience.
- Twitter allows you to have meaningful interactions with your followers. When you take advantage of all Twitter has to offer, you can tweet quality content that motivates your customer base to take action. Whether you create video tutorials, share your blog posts, or start curating related content that will enrich your followers’ lives, you will see that as you find and share pieces that your followers want to read, they will begin to respond. As they comment on your tweets or retweet your pieces, you can begin to have a conversation with each user. This interaction is a primary reason why 69 percent of users are likely to buy from a business they follow on Twitter.
- Twitter provides access to breaking news and allows you join in the conversation. When news breaks, Twitter is often one of the first places many users turn, knowing that the prominent thought leader in each field will be tweeting and retweeting their opinions and perspectives on the situation. While you don’t need to comment on every piece of trending news, finding ones in which your company can make a significant contribution is an ideal way to bring your company to the forefront. You might offer a solution, a behind-the-scenes look at the situation, or a highly relevant thought — as you get to know your audience, you’ll learn what they appreciate and are seeking on Twitter, and will be able to better tailor your comments.
- Twitter increases your brand awareness. As your followers retweet and comment on your tweets, their own followers will see their activity, bringing your name to new followers. If your tweets are interesting and relevant to the lives of your followers’ followers, they will be more likely to follow your company and subscribe to your updates, increasing your reach, brand awareness and exposure.
- Twitter provides a quicker customer service option. People regularly take to Twitter to talk about the products and services they are using; taking advantage of Twitter’s search features helps you to find and participate in the conversations about your company. Not only does it allow you to provide a timely response to both their positive and negative encounters, but their followers will see your responses and be more likely to follow you because of your contribution .
- Twitter allows you to connect with influencers who can help you increase your brand’s awareness. Influencers have a greater reach than most average social media users, and have expanded their own brand across several different platforms. When you want to promote yourself or your company as a thought and opinion leader, starting a relationship and connecting with prominent influencers can propel your company’s Twitter account to a new level.
I’ve Opened an Account…Now What?
There is an art to Twitter marketing greater than just publishing tweets. Once you’ve made the decision to add Twitter into your marketing plan, it’s important to start with a strategy.
Start by defining your target audience. Look at who you are ideally trying to reach. Factor in the age, sex, location and interests of your ideal customer. Do they have children? Do they live in the city? What are their hobbies, likes and dislikes, and average household income? Who influences them? Learning these facts about your customers will allow you to create an avatar, or virtual persona of your target audience member. Knowing that will allow you to more quickly find them on Twitter. You can start by following the influencers they follow.
Twitter Tip 1:
If someone follows you, it’s common courtesy that you will follow them back. Not only does this increase your reach, but allows you to learn more about your customers, followers, and the types of content they want to read.
Next, define your top keywords. Twitter’s algorithm includes keyword targeting, which they define as connecting “with users based on words and phrases they’ve recently Tweeted or searched for on Twitter.” You can either use the search function to write and publish Tweets that will appear when users search for topics that include the keyword and are related to your business. You can also use keyword targeting in the timeline to send compelling tweets based on the selected keywords that evoke an emotional response.
Twitter Tip 2:
Think creatively about the keywords that are most related to your business. For example, a coffee shop might not just use “coffee.” Adding in phrases like “love coffee”, as well as other coffee-based drinks or ingredients can increase the chances of being found on Twitter.
Twitter Tip 3:
Use hashtags to further amplify your keyword’s reach. Placing the pound symbol in front of your keywords helps to make your content even more discoverable.
Don’t be scared to share. When you’re just getting started with your Twitter marketing, creating content might be overwhelming. Curating content, though, is less intimidating. Just as a museum director searches for the best pieces for their museum visitors, content curation involves finding pieces that add value for your followers. This serves two purposes.
1. Your followers see you as a valuable resource for information, rather than a company or business selling a product or service. They learn that you have their best interests in mind, and start to come to you first for the information they are seeking.
2. You increase your reach. The creator of the content sees that you are sharing their content, and, since it is typically related to their field, they will be more likely to follow you and retweet your own posts.
Twitter Tip 4 :
Give credit where credit is due. Adding the content curator’s Twitter handle allows your followers to find that individual or organization’s account, which will increase their reach — and the odds that they’ll share your account with their followers.
Plan ahead. Twitter offers a scheduling option that allows you to plan your tweets in advance. When you are ready to launch your Twitter account, or to start a campaign on Twitter, you’ll save time and resources by taking a block of time and scheduling your tweets in advance. Keeping in mind that brand engagement peaks at three tweets per day, scheduling in advance means that you can publish your tweets at the optimal time for your followers to increase your reach and maximize your effort. This also allows you to make the most of your allotted Twitter management time. Taking an hour a week to schedule your tweets is a tremendous time-saving tool — you’ll already be in the mindset of seeking content, so let the creative juices flow for an hour and see how much you can schedule in advance.
Twitter Tip 5:
Just because you schedule your tweets in advance doesn’t mean you should forego checking your account daily. Regularly check-ins allow you to stay on top of what your followers are saying and keeps you present and at the front of their minds.
Start tweeting consistently. Don’t be overwhelmed by Twitter and fall into inactivity. As with any other content marketing tool, consistency and patience are key for Twitter success. Exponential growth doesn’t happen overnight; create a focused Twitter strategy, consistent number of tweets, and regular engagement and interaction with your followers and you’ll see a positive response from your Twitter efforts.
Twitter Tip 6:
Seek out professional guidance. If you’re not sure how to create your strategy, define your target audience, or move ahead with your Twitter account, contact us. Our team of experienced professionals knows the best ways to get your company results.